The next deadline that I’ve been hearing about has nothing much to do with the Admissions Office. This time, it’s students who are racing against the clock. Second-year MALD and MIB students must submit their theses by tomorrow, February 15. All Fletcher students write a thesis as a way of wrapping their coursework together and linking to their future careers. (Those in one-year programs (the MA and the LLM) have a few extra months to complete it.) The topic and format is up to the student and his or her advisor, and the diversity of student interests ensures there’s a wild range of topics.
In the lead-up to the deadline, Fletcher students behaved as Fletcher students do, and found a way to support each other by creating “Thesis Fridays.” An invitation went out to the thesis-writing community:
Thesis Fridays are now officially scheduled for the rest of the semester. Thesis Fridays are when we sit around in a room in Cabot basement and work on our theses (or whatever). That’s all. Sometimes we chat about them, and sometimes people get questions answered or make lucrative proofreading deals. Sometimes we chat about other things, but we try to minimize that. There’s nothing formal about it, but it’s a great way to get your butt in a chair for dedicated work time. Plus, misery/creativity loves company! Just keep repeating: Everything will be fine when I write my Master’s thesis….
I asked one of the co-creators, Rachel, to tell me more. She said that she and another student who graduated in December came up with the idea last semester. “We had a core group of about six or seven of us throughout the fall, sometimes up to 10 or 12. There are more this semester, since it’s (past) crunch time. I’ve definitely made a few new friends and practiced my pumpkin-bread-baking skills because of it. 🙂
Pumpkin bread isn’t the only potential caloric result of thesis productivity. Students who submit their thesis one day early (i.e. today, Valentine’s Day) have been told, “Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than by submitting your thesis a bit early on Valentine’s Day. So beat the rush, ahead of those getting it in on the deadline of February 15. In return, the Registrar’s Office will show a bit of our love with some chocolate treats.”